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Nairobi attack: Moment Kenya mall terrorist executes shopper in cold blood

Nairobi attack: Moment Kenya mall terrorist executes shopper in cold blood | Als Return to Education |
The shocking footage, which emerged only yesterday, shows the moment terrified men, women and children run for their lives from the attackers
Al Picozzi's insight:

This just show how terrorism is a fact a life even in Africa.  The Somali based terror group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attck in response to Kenya attacking al-Shabab in Somalia.  Kenya said it attacked into Somalia in response to the terroist activity of al-Shabab.  It is a vicious circle.  Also it has come out that the terrorists did come there with the express purpose of killing non-Muslims as they let them identify themselves and leave the mall.  With Somalia still really lawless and no central governement it is likely these attacks will continue.  This will prompt Kenya, and I believe other countries in Africa to try and control these groups even if in Somalia.  This will just continue the cycle.  The first step to stop this is to get a government in Somalia.  In a related story, see the FM of Kenya states the the group al-Shabab is under the control of al-Qaeda which shows that this group is still very active.

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Somalia's Pirates Face Growing Backlash

Somalia's Pirates Face Growing Backlash | Als Return to Education |
Abshir Boyah, a pirate who says he has hijacked more than 25 ships off the coast of Somalia, says he will give up this career if certain terms are met.


What economic, cultural and political circumstances in the 21st century would allow for piracy to exist?  What are the impacts of piracy on Somalia?  

Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

Much like the piracy in the Caribbean in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries it is done in order to gain wealth and by the looks of it, fame.  They are called Pirate Kings in the video by the New York Times.  Again much like the pirate kings of the Caribbean.  Here however they are willing to give it up in order to better their country with the help of the internation community, the pirates of the Caribbean didn't have a country and they liked it that way.  However, it was tried in the early 1990's to help allievate the food and humanitarian suffering.  However the warlords of the time, especailly Aideed, saw their power, as well as their money, disappearing, so they fought this relief effort and kept Somalia in the dangerous situation it is in today.  So you have to ask the question: Can you take the pirates seriously that they want to change??  Past history says no.

James Hobson's curator insight, October 30, 9:29 AM

(Africa topic 4)

I found it very interesting that piracy seems to be such an open topic in Somalia, yet even within its own borders pirates are facing growing scrutiny. In one sense it seems as if it is accepted as a necessary evil for survival, but also surprising is the acknowledgement of the pirates that they would stop if a reformation were to occur and better opportunities were within reach. This may be their way of hinting that they feel they are doing something morally wrong without directly coming out and stating it.

However, this raises the question of how to resolve the problem: will ending piracy promote reform, or will reform promote an end to piracy? It's like a chicken-or-the-egg problem, without a clear starting point. Nonetheless, if a movement in the right direction were to begin, it would be aided by this acknowledgement and willingness of the modern-day pirates.

Jennifer Brown's curator insight, November 11, 3:48 PM

The modern day Robin Hood! He's stealing from the rich to assist the poor. Is what he doing correct? Absolutely not!  When the economy and political situation fails me and I was in his situation I would probably do the same thing. 25 ships and a movie staring Tom Hanks I don't think the Somalian government cares about their Pirate problem since it still exists.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 22, 4:25 PM

Somalia's pirates are notorious worldwide, and while the pirates may be committing horrible crimes, it is important to understand why these people have turned to illegal means to survive. The economic state of Somalia is rather grim. Considered a textbook "failed state", men for the most part have to choose between working as a fishermen or turning to piracy. Since fishermen barely scrape a living from the waters, Somalian men turn to piracy. With no other economic opportunities, it is often seen as the only choice. Many Somali pirates openly admit that if they had other options, they would absolutely change occupations. 

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A stunning turn that could silence Syria war drums

A stunning turn that could silence Syria war drums | Als Return to Education |
While light on details, a Russian proposal for Syria to turn over chemical weapons shifts the war debate.

Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

I understand the need to do something and I also understand why Americans do not want to do this.  However I believe something should be done as it seems we all are forgetting our history.  Does anyone remember 9/30/1938.  A speech given by then British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain promised "...peace of our time."  He was talking about the Munich Agreement where Hitler promised that Czechoslovakia would be his last territorial grab.  Well we all know what that led to.  We cannot appease or let people get away with actions like this.  If he is allowed to use the gas on his own people whats to stop him from using it on Turkey, Israel or even in the US as part of a terrorist attack.  Just something else to think about .. an old quote which is a paraphrase, those who do not learn history will be doomed to repeat it.

Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 10, 2013 10:36 AM

The world is waiting to see how the drama in the Middle East unfolds.